Queen’s University Homecoming is a spirited affair, traditionally hosting over 3000 alumni and guests each year.
This year, Homecoming weekend is taking place virtually from Friday, Oct. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 18.
“The decision for a virtual Homecoming was finalized [ … ] in May,” Leigh Kalin, associate vice-principal alumni relations and annual giving, wrote in a statement to YGK News. “The decision was made as public health guidance emphasized not only good hygiene practices, but also minimizing close contact among groups of people to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the burden on hospitals and other healthcare providers.”
In her statement, Kalin thanked “hosts, guest speakers, faculty partners, and alumni volunteers” for their contributions and creative reimagining of Homecoming.
“This year’s [Homecoming] will feature many of the traditional elements that alumni know and love,” Kalin wrote. “We hope alumni experience the same warmth and nostalgia of previous years, while also finding new ways to connect with the Queen’s community.”
Traditional events such as class reunions, the alumni award recognition ceremony, and the Tricolour Guard Tribute will see remote delivery.
According to Kalin, new this year are a series of mainstage segments hosted by QUAA President Rico Garcia (ArtSci ’13) and CBC reporter Shelagh Rogers (ArtSci ’87) and “a Q&A with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre as well as the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation.”
Registrants can also expect musical performances by Gord Sinclair (ArtSci ‘86), bassist of The Tragically Hip, Jay Smith, Kingston singer-songwriter, and the Queen’s band. Registrations are still being accepted on the Alumni website.Embed from Getty Images
Kalin added that virtual programming fosters inclusivity for alumni and the University hopes to incorporate virtual elements in future Homecoming celebrations as well.
“[T]his format presents a unique opportunity for alumni who previously could not attend Homecoming to participate,” Kalin wrote. “We have been so pleased to find that more alumni from outside of Canada have registered for Homecoming this year than previous years.”
Watch: Gord Sinclair Sends a Message to Queen’s University Alumni